Lakota Tipi Camp

What They're Saying - 2011

2011 - Here are some of the things that people are saying about their experience. Thank you everyone who participated!

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In the prairie the stars shine brighter

We were getting excited. Eleven o’clock sharp the Lakota school bus arrived at the Rushmore Plaza Hotel in Rapid City. Hello, I’m Isabel – hello, I’m Tabor White Buffalo your guide - and hi, I’m Robin your driver. We felt welcome right from the start. As time went on more members of our group turned up. And after a last shopping trip wealready drove off towards Lakota Land. There it was – the wide prairie – exactly how I had always imagined it to be. When entering the reservation Tabor was fumigating sweet grass. The magic fragrance of it engulfed us and would be with us for nearly every day of the next two weeks. In the Waldorf kindergarten we were welcomed by the cooking team, by Jeff the second bus driver and by Didier. Didier shared all sorts of knowledge about herbs, plants and roots with us. “Form a circle” – for the next two weeks we were invited to do so again and again. All Indian guest speakers instructing us about a certain topic always first stepped into the circle and introduced themselves. Some shook hands with everyone. When preparing for the journey I suddenly hadn’t been so sure anymore whether white visitors would really be welcome in the reservation. But as a fact all my experiences have been entirely und exclusively positive. This certainly had a lot to do with Isabel’s contacts and her friendly surroundings that created a lot of goodwill towards us. For example by Travis whose children have been students at the Lakota Waldorf Kindergarten. Travis Brave Bird used to say: “You are very welcome – thank you for coming.” This sentence in the melodic English of Travis still rings in my ear.

In the prairie the stars shine brighter than elsewhere. And I loved the warm wind of the prairie. Although once in a while it would turn into a heavy gale rattling at our tipis and occasionally even overturning them. Nature here is experienced more directly than at home. Our guide and kindergarten teacher Tabor contributed a lot to the good atmosphere of our group. He cared round the clock for our needs, spread good humor and tried to introduce us to the Lakota culture. Same as many Lakota's Tabor is a passionate player and “handgamer”. There were many beautiful moments when we were striking up the handgame song in the school bus: “Ho ho, ho ho ho.” On our trips Kili radio accompanied us with music and discussion broadcasts. We also were allowed to visit the Kili radio studio and DJ Derek visited us in the tipi camp. He spoke to us about his work and how every morning before entering the studio he had to make sure that there were no rattle snakes or spiders around. We visited an Indian rodeo and also a large Powwow dance festival. In the big circle of the Powwow there was the meadow with the traditional dancers surrounded by the visitors on their folding chairs and the drummers. Midnight was approaching – I could have stayed much longer. But he wagon is rolling on… There would be so much more to tell. I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Isabel for organizing our stay and for her caring company, to the entire team for the great hospitality, to all members of our group for an impressive and happy time. To say goodbye was hard. Toksa.

Ueli Bürgisser


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